Colts DE Dayo Odeyingbo not thinking about contract situation

Colts defensive end Dayo Odeyingbo is entering the final year of his rookie deal, however, a new contract is not something that’s on his mind at this time.

“I don’t really think about that stuff,” said Odeyingbo on Wednesday. “It’s just part of football.”

Odeyingbo is coming off a 2023 season where he posted 8.0 sacks, a career-high and the third-most on the team. Along with those sacks, Odeyingbo recorded 29 pressures.

With the Colts drafting Laiatu Latu in the first-round of this year’s draft, along with the team picking up Kwity Paye’s fifth-year option for the 2025 season, which comes with a guaranteed salary of $13.38 million, the odds of Odeyingbo being brought back likely took somewhat of a hit this offseason.

Another productive year for Odeyingbo could put him out of the Colts’ price range on the open market.

“I think it definitely helps in the sense that you see results in the work you’re putting in,” said Odeyingbo about his confidence after last season. “Production-wise, those are the kind of results you want to see.

“Just seeing consistent growth from year-to-year and production and in my technique personally is something that is something to be excited about and somethingi I’m looking forward to this year.”

As of now, the Colts are projected to have $16.92 million in cap space next offseason, which ranks 19th in the NFL–although they are positioned well to rollover a decent amount of unused cap space from 2024. The Colts also have the ability to create more cap space through contract restructures.

The salary cap is flexible, so if the Colts are determined to bring Odeyingbo back, there is likely a way to make it work. However, there is always give and take, meaning spending more at defensive end reduces the Colts’ ability to add elsewhere.

In order for Odeyingbo to replicate last season’s sack production, he will likely need to get after the quarterback more regularly in 2024. Despite his high sack number, Odeyingbo ranked 45th out of 49 edge defenders in pass rush win rate.

Or, to put it another way, a very high rate of Odeyingbo’s pressures – perhaps an unsustainable amount – turned to sacks.

The Colts invested heavily into the defensive front this offseason. Along with picking up Paye’s option and drafting Latu, they re-signed Grover Stewart and Tyquan Lewis, added Raekwon Davis, and extended DeForest Buckner. This should be one of the more disruptive fronts in football this season.

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire